ST. PETERSBURG -- With the White Sox holding a two-run lead in the ninth inning of Friday's 4-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field, closer Bobby Jenks was surprisingly absent from the game.
Jenks actually wasn't even warming up in the bullpen. So what was the reason for his absence, according to bench coach and Friday's acting White Sox manager Joey Cora?
"Since I was the manager today, I never liked Jenks," said Cora with a wry smile.
Cora went on to explain how Jenks tweaked his troublesome right calf during pregame running and was unavailable. He is listed as day-to-day.
"He came out during batting practice, said he felt something in the calf," said Cora. "Supposedly it wasn't as bad as when it first occurred [last year], so we'll see what happens."
That calf injury ended Jenks' 2009 season after a blown save on Sept. 17 at Seattle. For the immediate future in 2010, Matt Thornton, who earned the save Friday, will serve as closer, with Sergio Santos joining J.J. Putz in the setup capacity.
"He can go soft early and hard late," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper of Santos' highly advanced learning curve. "He's much more polished than his time in the big leagues tells you. He's doing a great job and that's what has allowed us to put him in games like that."